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By La’Shawn Chambers

Word-of-mouth has always been a great way to find jobs. Many have found a position through a friend or family member. However, with the explosion of social media, networking has never been easier. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest allow us to connect with people whom we might not otherwise run into in our daily routines.

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Jobvite found that companies who used social recruiting enjoyed improved candidate quality and quantity, which is why 94% of the businesses surveyed use or plan to begin using social recruiting in 2013. For job seekers, its essential that in today’s job market, social media is a part of the plan.

Here are a few tips to help get you started:

1. Announce You are in the Market

Let your friends and followers know you are on the job hunt. Don’t hesitate to share what kind of job you are looking for. They may or may not know of a position now, but they’ll think of you when one opens up.

2. Do Your Homework

Before applying for a job, look up the hiring manager on LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social sites. Profiles and newsfeeds are chock-full of information on individuals. Use this newfound knowledge to create tailor-made cover letters that will appeal to those doing the hiring.

3. Hyperlink Your Resume

Include the URL for your Twitter and LinkedIn profiles to your contact info in your resume. This not only provides employers with another way to contact you, it also shows them you know your way around social media — a skill many employers value these days.

4. Use Facebook Lists Strategically

Creating lists in Facebook allows you to build your online network without worrying about crossovers between your professional and personal contacts. You can create a professional list and customize your privacy settings by going to “Account” and then “Friends.”

5. Join Groups

Joining groups on Facebook and Google+ is a great way to meet people and learn of new job opportunities. Interact regularly with other members to create relationships and ensure that you hear of any offers. You can also follow companies’ pages and get noticed by interacting with them. The same goes for Twitter.

6. Get Out There

Don’t just rely on the connections you have. Make new ones! Find out who you need to know to land your dream job, and connect with him/her. Twitter is especially effective in this area. Follow them and retweet their tweets. You can also expand your network on LinkedIn until they become a third-degree connection.

7. Join Industry Chats

Find conversations that revolve around your target industry. Not only does this keep you updated on all the current chatter, it’s also a great way to make new connections, and show off your expertise.

About La’Shawn Chambers

La’Shawn Chambers is a mother, civil engineer, and entrepreneur with three self-owned businesses to her name. After discovering her passion for service, career development, and mentoring, Chambers founded Résumées Certified in 2008. In only a few short years, she has helped more than 200 job seekers create stellar portfolios and use social media to build professional relationships and seek and secure employment through memorable networking.

Chambers is available for interviews and contributor opportunities relating to: career development, technology and it’s impacts on recruitment, résumé writing, and contemporary parenting for do-it-all moms and dads.